The Future of the Franchise

By:
Published: April 18, 2011

Game 1 of the 2011 NBA Playoffs. Second seeded, and probable favorite to win the title for their third straight time, the Los Angeles Lakers face the 7th seeded New Orleans Hornets… A team that has seen a tumultuous season full of ups and downs. From winning streaks, to attrocious losing streaks. From watching a co captain fall to injury for the rest of the season, to watching their ownership situation collapse, leaving the team uncertain of thier future. From their best player, the best PURE PG that the NBA has seen since Magic Johnson, asking for a trade in the last summer, to that same Point Guard leading his team to a game 1 victory, in a TRUE example of David vs. Goliath. Chris Paul is 6 feet tall IN SHOES. The Lakers START two 7 footers and their shortest player is the 6’2 Derek Fisher, who outweighs Paul by 20 pounds.

 

Do I think the Hornets will upset the Lakers in this SEVEN game seires? No. As much as I LOVE the Hornets, and am absolutely in LOVE and in AWE of my favorite player on the planet, Chris Paul… I don’t think they will. But after watching game one of this series, I realized the potential that the future of this team could hold. Regardless of whether the Hornets win or lose, with the way game 1 was played, and the way CHRIS PAUL can continue to play in this series, we have just established ourselves as a PREMIER destination point for Free Agents this summer.

 

Huh? Wha? How? Is that what you guys are asking? How can that be? What the heck am I talking about?

 

Why would ANYONE want to buy this team? Have you thought about that? It’s honestly an investors worst nighmare. The team plays in an area where their profit margin wont be very high them. Their franchise player has expressed interest in leaving the team for a greener scene, and if he WERE to leave, you could expect to see the team and ticket sales to PLUMMET. And the rest of the roster is as un-sexy as any other team in the league. To top it off, CP had a year where he didn’t perform the way that had earned him the title of “Best PG in the League”. In fact, he dropped to 5-10 for a lot of people who still think he’ll NEVER be the same.

 

But against the LOS ANGELES LAKERS, TWO TIME NBA DEFENDING CHAMPS, Chris Paul did something that Deron Williams, and Russell Westbrook (2 TOP rated PG’s who had SUPERIOR rosters to what the Hornets have) could NOT do last season. He won a game against the Lakers on their HOME COURT. And he didn’t just win, he absolutely DESTROYED them.

 

33 points. 14 assists. 7 rebounds. 4 steals. 2 turnovers.

 

THAT is the Chris Paul we all KNOW AND LOVE.

 

And that is the Chris Paul who will SAVE our franchise from being moved. The League has been pretty adament about not selling the team to ANY investors that want to move the team. Because plenty have come calling to do that. But if Chris Paul continues to play the way he did last night, they wont have ANY trouble finding an investor who will want to keep the team in New Orleans. Because with Chris Paul putting on performances like that, it won’t matter where team will be, they WILL be a money maker.

 

What do you think up coming Free Agents are going to think watching yesterdays game? What do you think a guy like Tayshaun Prince is going to think watching Trevor Ariza go 2-13 as New Orleans starting Small Forward, and for the Hornets to STILL be able to beat the Lakers?

 

What do you think Tyson Chandler is thinking watching his best friend come out and put up an UNREAL stat line while only getting 4 points, 2 rebounds, and ZERO blocks from his starting center, Emeka Okafor?

 

What do you think David West is thinking watching his “little brother” come out and battle like the warrior he KNOWS he is?

 

The Hornets don’t have a lot of money to offer. But they DO have some. And if they DO find new ownership this summer, then you can expext to have A LOT more with an owner ready to STOCKPILE around Chris Paul in hopes of getting him to stay with the team. And even though they can’t offer MAX contracts, they will be able to offer players the chance to play with someone as special as Chris Paul.

 

That is why this series, win or lose, can dictate the ENTIRE FUTURE of this franchise. Because we have someone THAT special on our team. Someone who put Aaron Gray on the map, and helped him be on the ESPN highlight reel WITHOUT getting dunked on. Who WOULDN’T want to play with him if he were to do this for the whole series, and take the Lakers to 6 or 7 games when they were expected to lose in a sweep or 5 games by EVERY single “analyst” in the league?

 

Maybe I’m going a little overboard here. It was really only ONE game from CP. ONE good game after not posting even ONE 30 point, 10 assist, 5 rebound game all season. But something I know VERY well after dealing with injuries as much as I have… Sometimes… It only takes ONE game to remember how good you really are. And thats where you realize that you’ve already hit rock bottom, and there’s no where to go but up.

 

My prediction on the Hornets 2011-2012 CHAMPIONSHIP Roster, the year CP3 will finally earn MVP:

 

STARTERS:

 

C. Tyson Chandler

PF. David West

SF. Tayshaun Prince

SG. Marco Belinelli

PG. Chris Paul

 

RESERVES:

 

C. Emeka Okafor

PF. Carl Landry

SF. Trevor Ariza

SG. Willie Green

PG. Jarrett Jack

 

C. Aaron Gray

G/F. Quincy Pondextor

This post was submitted by AgentZiko.

34 comments
L_Reazy
L_Reazy

I like your team Ziko. The only change I would make is to start Ariza at the 2, and bring Marco off the bench with Jack and Green STARTERS: C. Tyson Chandler PF. David West SF. Tayshaun Prince SG. Trevor Ariza PG. Chris Paul RESERVES: C. Emeka Okafor PF. Carl Landry SF. Marco Belinelli SG. Willie Green PG. Jarrett Jack

J
J

That dreadful Mark Cuban is going to be all over the Hornets case on any move they make just like old man Phil Jackson.Even when we do get an new owner(s) do any of you guys agree with me? Geaux Hornets

David
David

I say let Jason Smith and Bellinelli walk. I like em both, but they are both on the option for 2 million plus, I said don't offer the tender, see what they can get in FA, and then go from there. The new CBA will depress the salaries in the NBA - DWest may find that signing the extension offered to him, albeit a 'discount' by the current system, be better than a deal he can get after the new CBA. IMO, the hornets need 2 players from being a legitimate title contender: 1.) A starting swingman who can create his own shot and score and 2.) another athletic big who can help us match up against taller teams (like the Lakers) and spell Okafor, who I think has had a very good year despite his bad game Sunday. Chandler would be the ideal fit at C w/ this team, whether it was coming off the bench, starting w/ OK coming off the bench, or playing alongside Mek. Can he get past his bad feelings toward the franchise for trading him? (shouldn't be a problem, seeing as the only people left are Weber, CP, WEst, and the fans that absolutely love him) and can we offer him a competitive contract under the new CBA? Others to think about - How bout Yao? Can he be had on the cheap? Imagine him staying healthy, playing 25 mn a game in relief. Kenyon Martin? Not a true center, but a tough athletic big who would be dynamite coming off the bench in a stopper role. SG? There are a few options out there - Vince Carter will be bought out. He could probably be had on a discount deal and would see playing CP3 as a way to extend his career. He can still explode from time to time and wouldn't be asked to carry the team offensively. Maybe the guy who was traded for VC, Jason Richardson? Dude's a scoring machine and would fit in nicely next to Paul. Guys like Prince and Battier are good players, glue guys, but we already have that (Okafor, Ariza, Jack). We need a perimeter guy who can SCORE. C- Okafor - Yao PF - West - Landry SF - Ariza - Q-Pon SG - Jason Richardson OR VC - Bellenelli/Willie Green/Jarrett Jack PG - Chris Paul - Jarrett Jack

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

NO VINCE CARTER. Don't get sucked into that guys past. He sucks dude.

J
J

The fact of the matter is CP3 want this team to buy a championship get the best talent money can buy.But if you want to win one the hard way you've to recruit like D Wade did.Yes we know the big 3 experiment in due time will be a debate of pro and con.But in the mean time get players thats hungry to win like CP3.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

If D Wade were playing in Cleveland or Toronto.... He woulda left too. He didn't recruit. Have you ever been to Miami? Next to Los Angeles/Orange County, or New York, its the sexiest place to live. These are 3 single guys with tons of money. DWade didnt recruit anyone. Lebron and Bosh were tired of the girls in Cleveland and Toronto and are loving the Brazilian girls in Miami Beach, LoL.

J
J

I would trade Emeka for another 7 footer yes Meka can block and some D but at the same time he has improve since the trade last year.But the western conference is about the bigger the better the eastern Conference is undersize with 5 teams with centers 7 ft Howard,Noah,Hibbert,Brooke Lopez and Bogut.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

Now. Here's my reasoning for wanting Chandler AND Okafor on the same team. Because to ME, this makes sense. Apparently, not to everyone else. Ask yourself this. Who are the top 2 teams in the West, now, and down the line? And why? The Lakers and Thunder. The Lakers have what is probably the BEST front court rotation that I have ever seen in my life. They have a 7-1 Andrew Bynum. A 7'0 Pau Gasol. And a 6'11 Lamar Odom. And now the Thunder have a very SOLID big man rotation as well. 6'11 Kendrick Perkins. 6'10 Serge Ibaka. 6'11 Nazr Mohammad. 6'10 Nick Collison. I've said a MILLION times over, NO ONE can match the Lakers big man three some in a 7 game series. But the Thunder are the only ones now who have equiped themselves to CONTAIN that size. You're not going to find 3 guys who are more skilled then Bynum, Gasol, and Odom on the same team. So what you have to do instead is have QUALITY DEPTH in your size to wear them down in a 7 game series. The Thunder KNOW that, and have BUILT that. They have their stars to combat Kobe in Durant and Westbrook. Now they have their size to combat the Lakers size. WE HAVE TO THINK WITH THE SAME MENTALITY IF WE WANT TO BEAT THE LAKERS AND THUNDER IN THE FUTURE. To get rid of Okafor and get Chandler... You only got marginally better. But you also lose someone who has a history of good health for someone with a history of bad health. So when Chandler gets hurt? ............ Aaron Gray fills in as your starter? To win a title, we need to build DEPTH. Guys like Melo, Amare, Lebron, Wade, Durant, Iggy, and Dwight aren't available right now. If we had one of them, or could trade Okafor for one of them, then yea, fine, I'm cool with that. But we're not going to. So now we have to combat THOSE guys. Which is why I look at a tandem of Chandler and Okafor, and Prince and Ariza a DANGEROUS combination against the likes of Kobe and Gasol, and Lebron, Wade and Bosh, and Durant, Westbrook and Perkins, and so forth. I KNOW it's a lot of money. But if you DON'T spend that money, do HONESTLY think CP3 is gonna stay? Cuz I HONESTLY think he'd rather go to Orlando and play with Dwight Howard instead, unless you create a team that CAN and WILL win. To do that, you HAVE to spend. And you can only SPEND on what's available. Just think for one minute about this... 2012 Western Conference Finals, Lakers vs Hornets: Bynum. Pau. Lamar VS. Chandler. West. Okafor. Landry. Gray Who has the upper hand there? Oh, and don't forget: Kobe. Artest. Fisher. Brown VS. Paul. Prince. Ariza. Belinelli. Green. Pondextor. Does it not look a little more even to you now? That's what you have to compare to. If you seriously expect Chandler, ALONE to make a difference, you got another thing coming, cuz Bynums only getting better right now at 23 years old, and Paus in his prime.

J
J

Ok maybe not a draft picks in trades but we've to get rid of some wasted goods

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

You guys are asking for Draft Picks in a weak draft? That doesn't make sense to me. We're trying to keep Paul, not drive him away. Do you think he'd rather play with Okafor, or some rookie? The point is to create more depth. Again, with a new owner, expect to see payroll go UP in the first year. Not down.

Hornet
Hornet

I said future, not this year. Houston traded this year's pick for Williams I believe anyways. And it's mainly for Budinger with his cheap contract and the cap space to go after Chandler if we feel strongly enough to go after him. Adding Budinger gives us much needed depth at the wing position that gives us probably our best scoring option for around a million a year. I love Okafor but against the Lakers and Mavs he's basically useless. And if we're going to pay someone 10+ million a year he can't be useless against the top 2 teams in our conference. We need more size against them. I wouldn't do the trade though unless I was confident I could land Chandler though. If I'm not then I'm not doing the trade because then we're stuck probably overpaying Sammy D who is good but not good enough.

420ftjesus
420ftjesus

Ziko, you see the article this weekend about the cba? I think it was in "light chit-chat".

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

Will do my man. As for the hard cap. CANT happen. The league suggests that it has been "losing" money, yet it has refused to open the books up to the players association to show them that. That's because the league is making PLENTY of money. Joe Johnson signed a $124 million contract. Rudy Gay signed an $80 million contract. Why would an owner offer guys like this, THAT much money if they were losing money? It's simple, and this is the Players Associations mentality. They ARENT losing any money. They are making plenty of money. The issue with the Owners is that they want MORE of it. The thought of a "Hard Cap" means the Owners get every bit of the money made past the cap. That's A LOT of money ONE person, or a group of people owning a team would make BECAUSE OF THE PLAYERS, not because of their own work. A hard cap wont happen because players wont sign off on it. Owners have been taking 43% of the total profits, and the players have been taking 57% til now. The owners are disgruntled that its been unfair to them (even though they're the idiots signing off on the bad contracts being given out), and they actually want to FLIP so that THEY make 57%, and the players make 43%. THAT is why there will be a lock out this summer. The ONLY way we wont have one is if both sides decide to split the pie to EVEN for 50/50 profits. The talks right now are stalled because both sides want AT LEAST 53%, and give the other 47%. This hasn't been about controlling bad contracts guys... This has been about people being greedy over how much they can put into their own wallets, and trying EVERYTHING they can to have majority control in the situation. Both sides have BALKED at the idea of 50% split. Both sides feel they deserve more, and honestly just WANT more. And until both sides start losing money next season with a lock out, I don't see much being done because I see how greedy both sides are. Think about it this way 42. The NBA bought the New Orleans Hornets for what was it, $300 million? Where did that money to buy the team come from?

420ftjesus
420ftjesus

I agree that split appears to be the heart of the matter. I must correct your final point, however: the money didn't come from anywhere. The Shinn was into the NBA for a ton, they took over, and the Shinn 'loaned' them $70m. What I read is the NBA foreclosed and will sell the team, recouping its debt from Shinn, paying Shinn's 'loan' plus gravy, and leave the debt with the future owner, let's call him Schwest. I think the revenue sharing and a hard cap will make the individual teams more profitable given high salaries and current-ish revenue split, and parity will help fill arenas even in December. Just my thoughts. But the Shinn stuff is legit. I'm on my phone, but I'll post something tomorrow... You can search for it easily.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

Btw, sorry I've been so MIA 42. With my dad sick, I've been away from my desk and running the company. I haven't had time to write as much as I used to.

420ftjesus
420ftjesus

I read about your troubles. My grandfather withered and died over the last year after my grandmother went rather suddenly. Picnic factor = 0. I just mean you can post a link here and there and we'll handle the 'write-up'. Same goes for anyone. Know that even those contributions will be held up for others to see and learn from.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

No way 42. The OWNERS won't settle for that either. Think about it man. They HAVE to give some leeway as well. If they lower the cap THAT much, then you're basically allowing big market teams to flourish even more. That's the difference between big market and small market teams. LA, Dallas, New York, Chicago, Boston, Miami, the teams that PRINT money right now, they DONT CARE what the cap is. They WILL PAY the luxury tax because they still MAKE A LOT OF MONEY. But small market teams CANT. You're basically telling guys like Chris Paul that you will NEVER have a good team around you. And that makes Chris Paul decide, "F this, I'm going to Orlando/LA/New York". The NBA DOESN'T want to contract. They want to GROW. The only way they can grow is if places like OKC, New Orleans, Charlotte, and Indiana can stay competitive and garner revenue. I talked with a few of my spots buddies about this here, and they think its all BS from the league trying to get the players association to accept a better compromise. Expect the cap to be around 55-60 million. But expect a lot of new RESTRICTIONS. -Expect to see a Franchise tag. -Expect the players and owners to split the profits 50-50 (the players have gotten 57% of profits, to the owners 43% til now). -Expect see a change of percentage in the category of luxury tax. For instance, right now, you pay 100% of what you are over. For every million you are over, you pay a million extra to the league. In the new CBA, it COULD be that for the first $10 million you are over, you pay 100% still, but if you are $11-$20 million over, you pay 125% to the league. $21-$30 million over, you pay 150% to the league. -Expect to see revenue sharing. This will help balance things out. It will keep the the Heat and Lakers from acquiring anymore superstars unless they trade one that they have. And it'll force their owners to either A. think twice about spending so much, or B. at least give A LOT of money BACK to small market teams through revenue sharing. It's just not possible for it to be $45 million on a cap. The only team that would be under it would be the Kings. The league wouldn't do that. They'd be committing suicide with a lot of teams and forcing contraction. The Grizz would be 15 million over the cap. How are they gonna pay an extra 15 to the league?

420ftjesus
420ftjesus

I agree with you, but he was suggesting a hard cap. A real cap. A cap. A limit. Not a speed bump. I expect a HARD cap at some number within $5m of $60m, with a transition strategy (amnesty?) and much of what you outline, excepting tax (no such thing).

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

I have not yet, I will check it out. But I've read a million other articles about it already.

420ftjesus
420ftjesus

Then why aren't you cluing us in?!?! Berger was saying $45m hard cap is in being proposed, with a transition strategy. Seems low.

J
J

We need some draft picks in a trade unless Chouest buys 60% of the team that would the only way we keep CP3.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

My thinking regarding the team I assembled. I completely understand how the money works. But there was something I considered with the "acquisition" of Prince. And that is our Trade Exemption for Peja Stojakovic. $9,656,000 worth. This would take some careful work from Demps to manuever. The whole thing being TIMING. Free Agents can begin signing with teams July 1st. Our trade exemption expires July 15th. First, we use our Mid Level Exemption and push HARD to land Chandler and offer him the FULL MLE. $5 mil. We use Chris Paul to recruit him, and we tell him that Tayshaun Prince, his high school best friend and teammate, is our next target. Whether Cuban will throw 8-10 million at Chandler or not doesn't matter. That Dallas team is soft. Selling Chandler on a team that is EXTREMELY defensive minded, with 2 of his best friends on the team will be HUGE. And getting Chandler FIRST is key. I REALLY think he'll take $5 mil at a chance to SERIOUSLY win a title, because we all know Dallas stands NO CHANCE. Second, when we get Chandler, we recruit Prince HARD using both Chandler and Paul as our recruiters. We offer Detroit a SIGN and TRADE with our trade exemption for 6-7 million. If you think Prince wont take that, you're nuts. Cuz NO ONE in this market will pay him more than Detroit, and I KNOW he doesn't want to be there anymore. Third, we sign the role players. Marco and Green will sign again for 2.5 a piece as long as they get stability with a lengthy contract. No one else will really push to get these guys. So 2.5 each for 3 years gets their John Hancock. No ones gonna sign Gray for a lot of money, and I think the guy is genuinely happy in New Orleans. I think he'll sign for 2 mil, as long as it has stability in the length of the contract. 3 years. Since he has the injury that he has, David West isn't gonna opt out. He'd be an IDIOT to do so because NO ONE, not even NJ is gonna give him 10 mil to sit out the first 4 months of the season wondering if he'll ever be the same as he ages further. 7.5 mil. Lastly, break the bank with Landry. Let him know that he's the PF of our future and commit to him with 7-8 million. We don't know what West is gonna be like when he gets back. So keeping Landry is critical because West might end up being more of a veteran back up because he lost a step or two from the injury. Roster: STARTERS: C. Tyson Chandler ($5.0) PF. David West ($7.5) SF. Tayshaun Prince ($7.0) SG. Marco Belinelli ($2.5) PG. Chris Paul ($15.0) RESERVES: C. Emeka Okafor ($11.5) PF. Carl Landry ($7.5) SF. Trevor Ariza ($6.3) SG. Willie Green ($2.5) PG. Jarrett Jack ($4.6) C. Aaron Gray ($2.0) G/F. Quincy Pondextor ($1.1) (Numbers were rounded) Our payroll will hit between 70-73. Obviously well above the luxury tax. But again, I KNOW this will happen because EVERY year that a new owner comes in, they ALWAYS are ready to take on a higher payroll the first few seasons because their mentality is that if they have a better product out on the court, they'll sell more tickets, and more money. I don't expect them to go for a $80-90 million payroll and pay 20-30 million in luxury tax on top. But I think between $70-75 is realistic and PROBABLE. Especially for an owner who DESPERATELY wants to keep Chris Paul with the team long term. Consider all these things, and this type of a team makes a lot of sense. And if Tayshaun Prince isn't the acquisition, then expect it to be a guy like Stephen Jackson. I like Pietrus, but I also don't see him as a caliber of player compared to Jackson or Prince. He's not going to get Paul to say "I want to stay in New Orleans". The point of the article is that even though we didn't land a potential star like an Andre Iguodala, we can put together a team that is built around Chris Paul, and Monty's system of defense first, with depth to back it up. That team would be BY FAR the best defensive team in the league and would probably compete with Detroit's history defensive season. And that's something I know Chris Paul THOROUGHLY appreciates, and is probably one of the hesitations he has about joining guys like Melo and Amare in NY because those guys DON'T play Defense. I know this team is possible. It all starts with this playoff series, then "landing" a new owner.

Hornet
Hornet

So we use our TPE for a sign and trade with Prince to land him as a free agent? If that's possible that'd be great, I didn't know we could do that. I thought the TPE expired on July 1 right when free agency started. And man I really can't see Chandler passing up all that money. He likes it in Dallas and wanted to play there back when he was in Chicago. Cuban's going to offer him 10-12 not just 8-10. They always overpay their players. That's just way too much money for Chandler to pass up. And if he's going to use the MLE to go somewhere, why wouldn't he go to Miami? I can't see it happening. Now something that may not be an awful idea is looking for a trade on draft night with Okafor to Houston for a future draft pick (trade bait) and say Chase Budinger. We create cap room to go after Chandler, get a very solid young SF that can also play SG, and get a draft pick. Houston needs a center and getting a hometown guy in Okafor for a draft pick and a borderline starting SF is a good deal to me. We would then have enough money to give Chandler a great deal that's equal to Dallas and a roster that looks like this. STARTERS: PG: Paul ($16, 36min), Jack ($5, 12 min) SG: Belinelli ($3, 24 min) Jack (12 min), Budinger ($1, 12 min) SF: Ariza ($7, 32 min), Budinger (16 min) PF: West ($7.5, 24 min), Landry ($7.5, 24 min) C: Chandler ($10, 28 min), Gray ($2, 12 min) West (8 min) Reserves: Green, Pondexter both at $2 million. In total that line up costs us about 63 million and I think is worthy enough to reach the Finals and have a chance to win it all. It's risky trading Okafor away, but if we're going to have the cap space to nab Chandler, then we should be able to do it if Paul can recruit him. All this coming up with stuff is fun though, glad you wrote this Ziko :P

Hornet
Hornet

I actually messed up and meant to put MAIN ROTATION: for the first one, BENCH RIDERS for the 2nd, and then completely forgot about RESERVES: for a re-signed Smith at 1 mil, and Mbenga at 700k. Roster ends up being around 65 million.

J
J

Oden is a bust an modern-day Sam Bowie.I say trade west to get some draft picks sign Glen Davis,Jamal Crawford or Nick Young and Mark Gasol. Think about this we instead of Gasol we could trade for Bynum thats a big maybe.Re-sign Marco,Gray,Mbenga,Landry and draft a PG or PF.We must have a back-up plan if Paul leaves.

Halloniusfunk
Halloniusfunk

Let's grab Greg Oden off the scrapheap - he's still young and has had his surgeries. Maybe he can be another Andrew Bynum with a fresh start. Plus he would be cheap.

Cpthre3
Cpthre3

The problem with this team you have assembled is it will never ever work because of the salary restrictions and the salaries that these players will command. As I have calculated, the Hornets are committed to 54 million (with the team you have put together and assuming West picks up his option for 7.525 million), so that leaves no room for 5-6 million for Prince, 8-10 million for Tyson, 4 million for Willie Green and 5-6 million for Landry. Taking the lower end of these ranges would give the Hornets a $75 million dollar payroll, good for top 5 in the league. That won't happen.

Cpthre3
Cpthre3

Check this out, it is a rough draft, but I think the Hornets will be really strong if they follow these steps: PG: CP3/Jack SG: OJ Mayo/Marco SF: Tayshaun (I don't love him, but if he is a team's 5th option, could be strong)/Q-Pon PF: DWest/Landry C: Al Jefferson/Gray/Mbenga How does this happen? CP3 and Jack are back next year and I assume NOLA makes the qualifying offer to Marco. The only move I do not see going through would be Ariza for Mayo, but that is how I get Mayo here. Tayshaun signs for 6 million and Q-Pon is back. West exercises his option and NOLA signs Landry for 5.5 million a year. The biggie is Okafor for Jefferson. Utah wants to unload him and build around Heyward and Harris, Okafor is a good locker room guy and a great defender. Jefferson averages close to 20 ppg., 9+ boards, and more blocks per game than Okafor. Also, he shoots 70% from the FT line. Could you imagine a scoring center like that with West and Landry? Finally NOLA signs back Gray and Mbenga for a big, physical body and there you go, that team for under the total salary NOLA had this year and there are scorers at every position. IM IN MOTHER F*****S!!!!

Hornet
Hornet

There's no way we're getting Chandler. NO WAY he passes up the 10 million a year he'll get from Dallas. We can only offer up the MLE. Now Tayshaun Prince? I like, and I think it's possible. I just don't think we'll have enough playing time available for him that he'll want. I could see him ending up in Sacto. If he is interested, who starts though? His defensive numbers worry me and He's only getting older at this point. I think a line up that would be interesting would be Paul Belli Prince Landry West. Incredibly good line up offensively. I think we have a very good team set up for next year though. One thing that hasn't been talked about at all is that Gray has a player option for next year. With his play in game 1, I could see him declining and looking to earn more than like 1.2 next year. So that's something we're going to have to focus on along with re-signing Landry to a new deal. I like the team you have I just don't see it happening. I think Kevin Martin would be perfect for what this team needs but to get him we'd have to probably offer up 1. Draft picks and 2. one of our bigs, maybe even Okafor. But honestly I think if we can sign someone like Pietrus (if he decline the player option) then I think this team is very solid. My rotation if we added Pietrus. PG: Paul (36) Jack (12) SG: Belinelli (28) Jack (12) Pietrus (8) SF: Ariza (36) Pietrus (12) PF: West (24) Landry (24) C: Okafor (28) Gray (12) West (8) I mean, if Paul returns to 07-09 form which I think he will, that is by far the most deep and talented roster he's had around him. Even replace Pietrus with Pondexter and it's still a very good team to me that could reach the Finals if the Lakers fall off like I think they will.

Hordan
Hordan

We would definently be able to afford another free agent other than Pietrus. Even if we resign Belinelli and Landry and Gray resign for 10 mil and get Pietrus for 3-4 we'd still have about 6 mil to work with. Sign a vet like Prince or, more realistically, Battier, and maybe a better backup center. Someone like Hayes or Dalembert. A big man who plays good defense and rebounds. How about this: Paul/Jack Belinelli/Pietrus Ariza/Battier West/Landry Okafor/Dalembert -Belinelli: $3,000,000 -Pietrus: $3,500,000 -Battier: $4,000,000 -Landry: $5,000,000 -Dalembert: $5,000,000 -These salaries put us over about 1-2 million above our current payroll I believe.

Hornet
Hornet

Considering the uncertainty of West and the fact Landry plays so well against top teams, I think he is most definitely worth that much. He's probably the best scoring big man off the bench in the entire NBA. That's worth 6-7 mil a year to me IMO. I don't think Battier or Prince are really that realistic but yeah I'd agree Battier is more realistic than Prince at this point.

Hordan
Hordan

I see Battier being a more realistic option than Prince, and quite honestly, if Landry is going to cost that much, he isn't worth it. If he does cost that much, I think we should let him walk and sign someone like Mbah a Moute.

Hornet
Hornet

We will only have room to use the MLE if there is even one with the new CBA. Landry is going to cost us 6-7 million not 5, and we're going to be right around the cap and not have enough space to sign someone unless we dump someone like Ariza or Jack which wouldn't be worth it. Battier would be a great pick up I just don't think he'd be interested with us. I'd pick him over Pietrus though, definitely. I said Pietrus though because I think it'd be more likely.

coach44
coach44

I have said all along that the most important acquisition for the Hornets this offseason is a local owner. Silo, you have the Hornets only two players away from a championship. I'm not sure I agree with that, but I think they are really close, and I do think that Tyson gives us something that we need badly- offensive excitement. Monty's offense is dull as dishwater, but Tysons dunks will get the crowd loud. I agree that a good showing will get the league's attention and make the Hornets relevant once more. If CP3 wants to win a title, he can do it here!